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Re: Transformation services - interface design

From: Ben Bucksch <Ben@Wiesbaden.Netsurf.de>
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 1999 10:50:43 -0400 (EDT)
Message-ID: <005601be8b3d$292be100$8d92e495@home.loc>
To: <craig@hubley.com>, "Pat Gunn" <pgunn01@ibm.net>
Cc: <www-talk@w3.org>
Von: Pat Gunn <pgunn01@ibm.net>
> >Ben Bucksch wrote:
> >>  Mozilla will include an open interface for "Transformation services".
> >> Wouldn't it make sense to standardize the interface, so that all
> >> browsers on all platforms have the same interface and can use the same
> >> "plugins"?
[craig@hubley.com wrote:]
> >First, are you sure that this interface will exist?  The link you
> >provide is only a proposal.  I've CC'd to the author of that proposal so
> >that he can fill us in.

Please take a look at http://www.bucksch.com/projects/mozilla/

> >All other things held equal, obviously it would be preferable to have
> >one interface on all platforms, but you are stuck with a
> >lowest-common-denominator problem in data structures.  Each platform has
> >its own way to represent data structures and pass them around to various
> >system services.  Each has its own naming conventions.  Requiring a
> >program that is already designed effectively to integrate on the native
> >platform with these conventions and services to be rewritten to become a
> >plugin to Mozilla will not attract as many conversions as a Netscape or
> >IE written close to the platform.
> As Java improves, and (possibly) if Microsoft's dominance lessens, we
> might see Java doing these kinds of things instead of plugins. Personally
> I think this would be a big plus, as
> 1) The user wouldn't have to download and install plugins
> 2) People on marginal (or semimarginal) platforms like FreeBSD, Linux,
> or even sometimes MacOS don't have to deal with some stupid
> company making only Windows plugins
> 3) Plugins take up memory, even when not in use (specifics of this vary
> on platform)
> >But you are talking about a very deep architecture problem with serious
> >issues in naming of structures and interface elements.  You don't just
> >add a layer of abstraction in between the engine and plug-ins and expect
> >it not to cause all sorts of comprehension and other problems.
> Probably a good point. Native developers on platform-foo are probably
> never going to make anything that will run well on platform-bar. However,
> fortunately in the vast majority of cases, plug-ins arn't really needed to
> achieve a particular effect.
> >Evolution of the whole image over time, including the installed DLLs for
> >the original browser, is a major problem.  Keeping the browser working
> >across OS upgrades and shifts in shared libraries is quite difficult
> >sometimes, especially with the active sabotage of Microsoft on the
> >platform level (deliberate changes to the API that won't affect a
> >risk-managed portfolio of key vassals of Microsoft but will cut off
> >Mozilla and Navigator cold).

Maybe, I'm just too childish, but what about a program, that takes the data
from std-in in a structured matter?
"more" behaves the same on all platforms I know.

Java is worth an thought, although I'd like to give the developer freedom of
language.

Ben
Received on Tuesday, 20 April 1999 10:54:53 GMT

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